There’s an ongoing discussion among online sellers:
Offer free shipping or to charge for shipping?
Sellers go back and forth on this.
Some sellers offer free shipping on light items only. Some offer it on everything and build it into the price of the item. Some accept best offers, so they feel like charging the customer for shipping is the way to go. Others charge shipping on everything.
Sellers discuss back and forth, what’s the most effective way to handle shipping charges? How do shipping charges affect your DSR’s, your search ranking, your Top Rated Seller status, your monthly sales and other countless angles of this topic.
I’ve tried charging shipping on everything. I’ve tried free shipping on everything. I’ve tried building shipping into the price of the item, and none of those really work for me. When I had free shipping on everything in my store, my sales actually went down……..hmmmmm………it’s taken me awhile to come up with this idea, but here’s what I’m doing lately and it seems to be working:
I charge partial shipping for my items.
What I decided is that by charging partial shipping for items, it makes my items look more competitive.
For instance, on a plush toy, some sellers might have $6.99 listed for shipping, and while it might really cost $6.99 to ship it, when I list the exact same item, I list it as $3.99 shipping. That way, the sale price of my item covers part of the shipping and the shipping charges cover part of the shipping charges, and when the customer looks at it, they feel like they’re getting a deal on shipping.
Keep in mind that eBay charges you final value fees based on the selling price of the item and the shipping costs, so when I price items, I’m looking at the total amount of the item plus shipping.
I noticed that I could get about the same price for an item whether I charged $3.99 shipping for it, or whether I had it listed as free shipping, so I decided that I might as well put a partial shipping price and get a little bit extra to help with the shipping, and it makes it look like a deal to the customer.
On lighter clothing items, I usually put $1.99 shipping, most of my plush I put $2.99 for the shipping. Even if it doesn’t cover all of the shipping, that little bit extra helps with shipping costs.
Please let me know what shipping strategies work best for you.
Stamps.com just completed our 2013 USPS Postage Rate Increase Guide.
The guide is a 15 page PDF file and contains detailed information on the new postage rates for each USPS mail class, including special services.
In the 10+ years that I’ve been selling online, I’ve found the one thing that always helps me stay organized is to stay on top of my shipping.
I try to package and print labels for everything that needs to ship out each night before I go to bed.
You never know when you’ll wake up late one morning, wake up with a headache, sick child, flat tire, or any other crisis that throws a curve in your day. Many, many times I have been very thankful that I had my shipping done the night before and just had to put the bin out for my Mail Carrier in the morning.
Save money on shipping shoes by utilizing Flat Rate Priority envelopes.
This doesn’t work for all shoes, but sandals, ballet shoes, canvas tennis shoes, and kids shoes can ship for a whole lot less using this method.
Try different shoes and see what you think will work for your inventory.
You don’t want to ship bulky athletic shoes, heels or shoes that can be easily crushed in them.